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Moving to Middlebury, VT - Where should I eat??

I'm moving to Middlebury, VT in 4 weeks. I've only visited a couple times so I'm anxious to get the inside scoop on the best places to eat. In particular, I'm looking for dinner places that serve somewhat healthy, fresh, local (when possible), and interesting food. Also, what are the best bakery/breakfast places? I love my carbs and freshly baked bread iand muffins are definitely a weakness. Can you get great locally made bread and pastries? And is there a great coffee place? Finally, where should I food shop? I checked out the Middlebury Co-op which seems great, but am interested to hear what the locals think. Thanks for your help!

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  1. Many members of my family live up there. When we visit them, we all tend to cook and eat at home, so I can not comment on the restaurants. However, we often end up buying things at the Co-op two or three times a day. (We can walk from my parents' house.) It is totally fabulous. Not only is everything outstanding (including the bread), but the staff is really friendly and low key. They make some delicious food, including a lot of vegetarian and vegan options. They recycle magazines, so you can drop things off or look for some nice easy reading on your way out. It's clean, well-organized and stocked with everything you could ever want. My parents are in their late 70s and they do 90% of their food shopping there, bypassing the more impersonal chain stores nearby. And in many ways, it is a humming community center. More than once, I have said to friends that I wish we had something like it near where I live. Have fun- my family members LOVE Middlebury.

    1. I agree the Middlebury co-op is one of the best. We often drive from Montpelier to stock up on organic vegetables as they are far superior than our local co-op.

      Otter Creek bakery is probably your best bet for local baked carbs. They also make good coffee.

      Can't help on the dinner front. If I lived there I'd probably drive to Starry Night Cafe or somewhere in Vergennes.

      1. Tully & Marie's on Bakery Lane.

        1. I don't know but Hen of the Woods in Waterbury, VT is a restaurant that tries hard to be a high-end dinner destination option in Vermont. While not absolutely perfect, I would give them a chance for a special meal.

          3 Replies
          1. re: joebelt

            Middlebury and Waterbury are not at all close to each other unless you want to drive an hour to get there. American Flatbread along with great beer from Otter Creek Brewing are two places to check out in Middlebury.

            1. re: mjp81

              What's an hour for a special meal? If you were living in the heart of a metropolis, I''d say sure an hour drive is a little much, but frankly in Vermont you have to drive to find the special places.

              1. re: joebelt

                hen of the wood is worth the drive. but I wouldn't want to drive home after dinner there. quite a long haul over the mountains...

          2. American Flatbread is great but only open on Fri and Sat. Fire and Ice and Two Brothers are good. So is Mister Ups. Try the Watershed Tavern in Brandon... cozy atmosphere, good food, great company.

            1. Also, go to Shelburne Farms for a treat.

              8 Replies
              1. re: mvi

                Fire and Ice has great ambiance and decent food. Mister Ups is cool for drinks and pub food. A&W Drive-In (seasonal) is an American Icon and deserves a try (alway had excellent burgers and that great root beer). For overnight guests, the Swift House has great rooms and ok food (the wine list is very solid and fairly priced). Roland's Place (New Haven, about 15 minutes north) is very good. If you want a real fine ding experience try Cristophe's (Vergennes, about 25 minutes from Middlebury).

                1. re: TonyO

                  I live outside of Middlebury and do my shopping and eating there, so I can give you LOTS of suggestions! :-))

                  First off, the co-op is the best. I do most of my grocery shopping there. Lots of local veggies, reasonably priced for the most part, I think. I feel the deli is a bit on the pricey side, I can make the same stuff at home for cheaper, but that's just me. The cheese selection is great. An all around wonderful coop!

                  As for eating out, here are a few more suggestions for places in the area (TonyO's are all on my list as well!)
                  • Black Sheep Bistro-in Vergennes, but well worth the trip
                  • Provence-this is in Brandon, have yet to go, but have heard wonderful things
                  • The Storm Cafe, Middlebury-uses fresh, local produce, etc. Ate there once and was very impressed. Nice to eat there in the summer outside.
                  • Taste of India-they have a great Sunday brunch, inexpensive, and really flavorful and spicy Indian. Good for lunch or dinner too!
                  • Mary's at Baldwin Creek-Another wonderful one for local, fresh produce. (I admit I've never eaten there before, but want to try it!)
                  • The Bobcat-Bristol-this is my local pub, but I find the prices high and the food just ok. I go for the ambiance and to meet friends.
                  • Mr Ups, Middlebury-The best for a burger and beer. Just to hang out. Go in the summer and sit on the deck.

                  You can also do a search on our local weekly newspaper's dining website, 7daysvt.com, go to "dining."

                  Welcome to Addison County!

                  1. re: Addisonchef

                    Thanks so much to everyone who replied. This is great info! I'll be in walking distance to the Co-op so I'm sure I'll be doing most of my shopping there. And it doesn't sound like there's a shortage of great reataurants to try. As long as I have a few favorites, I'll be all set. Looking forward to the move now!

                    1. re: clc451

                      The storm cafe is not horrible - but they use soooo many ingredients in every dish - expect to eat something like thai lasagne.

                      For decent breakfast, go to the donut shop next to the coop. They have the best pancakes in town - pancakes at the Park Diner tend to be runny in the middle. Stick w/ grilled cheese at the park diner.

                      The taste of india is good, not great. but if you are needing indian food, fits the bill. avoid all the local chinese restaurants like the plague.

                      american flatbread is the most happening and probably best restaurant in town - but only open on friday and saturday nights.

                      mary's at baldwin creek is lovely but tired and pretentious. worth a visit, but pricey and not really memerable.

                      bobcat I agree is very fun and food is good.

                      for really good beers and the best local ambiance, especially for but not exclusive to toddlers, go to the shoreham inn. they have other things on the menu, but I usually stick w/ the burgers, which are from local cows. apps are always good nice local cheese plate.

                      mr ups is nothing to write home about, but an excellent choice for lunch in the summer, when you can sit outside.

                      1. re: louise8

                        Doughnut shop next to the coop? Do you mean the bagel shop? Or are they now selling pancakes and doughnuts with their bagels?

                        1. re: Addisonchef

                          it used to be a donut shop. now it is middlebury bagel. they sell out of their plain donuts before 9AM every day, so go early if you don't want to get stuck w/ a boston cream. (the donuts seem to sell much better than the bagels) and yes, they serve pancakes!

                          1. re: louise8

                            That just means more Boston Cremes for my BF! ;) Their housemade bagels are great (and huge) - we usually split a bagel sandwich with smoked turkey & provolone, chips and pickle on the side for a tasty, cheap lunch.

                  2. re: TonyO

                    heard that Christophe's is giving up. so sad.

                2. You should try Cafe Provence in Brandon. It's on route 7 between Middlebury and Rutland...open all day. They also have excellent take-away. French chef, Robert Boral (sp?) is very talented. I've been several times and would give it high marks.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: negroni

                    The A&W rules. Frosty mugs, greasy fries, and servers on roller skates. It's a highlight of every summer!